Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Time for Another Verybusymomwith4 Lecture-The Manners Edition

We went to a wedding last weekend. It was a beautiful wedding, beautiful bride, handsome groom, lovely flowers, well behaved children. 

Yes, you read that right. Well behaved children. The bride did something my friends and I never did. She invited children, all four of mine as a matter of fact. (In hindsight, I command her on doing the right thing, children make a wedding fun! Remember that, single readers.)

Mike was stuck at work so I decided I would take the four kids to the ceremony alone and meet him at the reception. It was in downtown so I tried to leave to be there at least 15 minutes before the start of the wedding.

"Why do we need to get there earlier?" Miley asked as fastened the buttons to last year's too small Easter dress (there was no time to shop due to illness).

"Because it would be very rude to walk in right before the bridal party and we might run into the bride and no one should see her until she walks down the aisle," I smiled straightening her back bow.

Miley's eyes widened at the word, rude. Her fascination with manners is growing rather large for a ten year old. And suddenly Miley was in the biggest hurry of everyone as she raced about the house getting the boys' jackets and helping to shine their shoes. She muttered to all her siblings, 'we cannot be late'.

On the way there, Miley, in between comments about time, reminded me to turn off my cell phone before we walked in the church because nothing is more rude than a cell phone going off during a wedding.

We got the church (time to spare thank you very much) and waited in the hall for an usher. The poor usher looked shock as he saw a lone mommy with 4 small children.

"Groom's side. As close to the back as possible, "I whispered and offered my arm.

Oddly, he just walked in front and Miley's mouth dropped open.

"Mommy, he didn't take your arm. That is so rude!"

I gave Miley a quick be quiet glance and we sat, in the far back.

All of my children stood up for the bride and then in the midst of the trumpet solo of the Trumpet Fanfare, "dontcha wish ya girlfriend was hot like me, dontcha wish ya girlfriend was hot like me'. 

Yep. A cell phone. Two rows in front of us. Miley turned and shot the offending party an icy glare. The lady smiled and turned off the phone. Miley continued to glare. I guided her face to look up to the alter. 

The wedding went perfect.

But as we walked out to the car, Miley continued to harp about the cell phone.

"What was she thinking? How could she not know? Why didn't anyone say anything?"

"Miley, "I began gearing up for the lecture. "Do you know why we have manners?"

"Yes. To do the right thing."

"Right, but the reason  we do the right thing is to make everyone comfortable. Manners are kind of guide book for how we treat each other in society. It helps us know how to act when we are in social settings and it makes everyone at ease. Manners are to make everyone happy and feel welcomed."

"So why did she have her cell phone on?"

"True. That was not polite but the most rude thing you can ever do is point out a person's lack of manners in public because that does not make anyone comfortable. Do you think it would have made the situation better or worse if someone told her off?"


"And manners are not a competition. You don't run around talking about how well versed you are in etiquette and social grace. That's tackier than a cell phone going off at a wedding in my opinion."

"I don't brag, " she paused. "So you don't correct manners in public?"

"No. If you are close to the person like her  friend, you pull her  aside at an appropriate time and suggest an alternative behavior. And if you are the person's mom, you can be more blunt."

"Like you."

"Yes, like me."

She nodded and we got in the car. And I was really proud of how well my kids did in the 50 minute service. Well, except for during the vows when I looked down and saw Spanky flossing his teeth with the floss he got out of my purse. 

That wasn't appropriate.


Tyne said...

That was a great post. Miley is such a smart girl and she is very classy and will continue to be a good role model, you should be proud- well done momma!

Gretchen said...

That's an awesome story! You have many wise words.

Brian and Staci said...

Oh Sweet Spanky!!! I LOVE that you have floss in your purse! You are a TRUE FRIEND :) (ya know, I was once a dental hygienist...back before kiddoes!) This was a great post Lisa! Miley is going to be one heck of a woman---a large part of that because she has one spectacular mommy like YOU!!! And kudos to you for being brave enough to take all 4 to that wedding :) YOU GO GIRL!

Jacque said...

LOL about the floss!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

OH I love this post! and very wise too I might add!

photomama said...

I don't think I would ever have been as brave as you. Glad your kids are learning all about manners. Miley can come and teach mine! LOL

dani said...

i had to re-read and then read a little further, lisa!!! i thought you were saying that the trumpet solo WAS "dontcha", bhahahahaaaa!!!
and i love that spanky flossed:p

Unknown said...

We can always count on Spanky for a little comic relief can't we?

And sorry but I would've totally been giving the cell phone woman the "stink eye." Although I always forget to turn my phone off so it coulda been me...

But seriously, good chance for a lesson, Momma!

Lisa said...

love that post. what great kids - and how great are you for teaching them all of that wonderful stuff! and the phone?!? I'm w/ Miley!

Momo Fali said...

I envision Miley as a wedding planner. The girl has taste, and clearly knows right from wrong.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful story Miss VBMW4, MIss Miley is obviously a little lady! Spanky completely cracked me up, too funny!

Grins for your weekend!

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

oh my, i kept this in my google reader since last tuesday b/c I knew it was worth saving...and it was. loved this story. always a winner when it's your "lectures" about manners...soooooo hilarious, true, and well-written. ;-)

Purple Teacup said...

I had to re-read like Dani...=) you know I am having so much trouble taking all 3 of mine anywhere. What is your secret?